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TAG Heuer initiates 2024 with a generous dose of colour

The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon in stainless steel case and teal blue dial.

The watchmaker gives new meaning to going green this year.

It has been a wild ride for TAG Heuer in the last few years, especially towards the end of 2023. Its young CEO, Frédéric Arnault, has been promoted to the CEO of LVMH Watches, a new role in the luxury conglomerate. Replacing Arnault is Julien Tornare from Zenith, who has really done a wonderful job transforming the brand in just six years. There are high expectations for Tornare to take TAG Heuer to a billion-dollar turnover in the next few years.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph for 2024 has a dial layout based on the Carrera 45 Dato.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph for 2024 has a dial layout based on the Carrera 45 Dato.

Green is on the brand’s mind this year, judging by its releases for the LVMH Watch Week Miami happening now. The Carrera is once again the key focus as TAG Heuer takes its new Glassbox design unveiled last year further with new dial formats and details. Once again, it’s refreshing an iconic reference from the Carrera’s early days, this time with a 45 Dato model Ref. 3147N from 1968. It continues the Glassbox’s story from last year with the date window at 12 o’clock, which was later shifted to 9 o’clock, with a single chronograph totaliser at 3.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph in a teal blue dial.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph in a teal blue dial.

The Carrera Glassbox 

The bezel-free design of the 39mm Glassbox – with its curved sapphire crystal and flange that cascades right into the circular, brushed dial – gives the Carrera a new and modern identity. By retaining dial details that reference iconic models from the past, it anchors the watch to the brand’s heritage. With just a single chronograph counter, the circular brushing of the dial is highlighted, which may be why TAG Heuer has chosen a striking teal for the dial. A colour often associated with precious stones, living oceans, and the Aurora Borealis, teal is not often seen in watchmaking, making this collection all the more special. According to the brand, it also pays homage to the history of this colour in motorsport.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph in the dark.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph in the dark.

The chronograph model features a small date window at 9 o’clock with a single 30-minute totaliser at 3 o’clock. The central seconds hand is a running seconds display. The hour indexes and hands are coated with Super-LumiNova, with luminous beads above the hour markers. The watch is powered by the TH20-07 automatic movement, which is the Heuer 02 renamed, with a power reserve of up to 80 hours.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon in teal blue dial.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon in teal blue dial.

A second version comes with a higher-powered movement, TAG Heuer’s TH20-09, which also has an 80-hour power reserve. The automatic chronograph tourbillon calibre is developed by the brand’s Movements Director, the famous Carole Forestier-Kasapi. Here, the chronograph dial has a more conventional layout, with a central chronograph seconds hand and 30-minute and 12-hour totalisers at 3 and 9, respectively. The tourbillon, which can be seen revolving around the carriage through an aperture at 6 o’clock, doubles as a running seconds display.

An angled view of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon's dial.
An angled view of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon’s dial.

The Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon is housed in stainless steel and sized at 42mm, which guarantees that this watch will be a fantastic buy for anyone interested in having a ‘daily beater’ tourbillon. It will be available from May onwards, while the Carrera Chronograph is currently available online and will be available in boutiques as well as authorised retailers shortly.

The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph.

The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph.

The Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph  

Two years ago, TAG Heuer introduced its first solar-powered quartz movement with a minimum reliability of a decade of use. This was an important quality that Forestier-Kasapi wanted the movement to provide, which is why it took so long to develop. The Aquaracer Solargraph, with its grooved dodecagonal bezel and angular case, came in a larger 40mm size but will now be available in a 34mm case for the slender-wristed.

The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph with mother-of-pearl dial, a breakthrough in design.
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph with mother-of-pearl dial, a breakthrough in design.

Five models have been released, and three are of particular interest. The first two feature standard dials in a midnight blue as well as a teal-like “polar blue”, a term that TAG Heuer has coined for this watch. The other three are in mother-of-pearl, and that’s particularly challenging because the Solargraph movement requires solar energy to penetrate a light-porous dial in order to charge the movement. The watchmaker has not revealed what it has done with the nacre material to adapt it for the Solargraph, but the mother-of-pearl dials offer the same energy efficiency as standard Solargraph models. All it takes is a 40-hour charge in sunlight to drive the movement for up to 10 months.

The three mother-of-pearl dial executions of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph 34mm models.
The three mother-of-pearl dial executions of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph 34mm models.

The mother-of-pearl dials come in three variations: without diamonds, with diamond indexes on the dial, and diamonds on the dial and bezel. All in all, these timepieces give the sports watch a more delicate and almost dainty identity.

Yellow diamonds are the new breakthrough for TAG Heuer's Carrera Date Plasma d'Avant-Garde series.

Yellow diamonds are the new breakthrough for TAG Heuer’s Carrera Date Plasma d’Avant-Garde series.

Diamonds Are Forever (And Lab-Grown) 

Last year, TAG Heuer announced it had mastered the production of coloured diamonds in the lab, with a Carrera Date Plasma d’Avant-Garde model that had a fully diamond-set dial and two pink diamonds, one shaped in the form of TAG Heuer’s shield logo and the other as a functioning crown for the watch. It was a spectacular timepiece with a fully encrusted dial that dazzled from every angle. While lab-grown stones are not new in watchmaking – they are used in movements, and the protective crystal over watches – stones of such sizes and utility had not been seen before.

A closer look at the diamond-encrusted dial, baguette-cut lab-grown diamonds and yellow diamond shield of the TAG Heuer Carrera Date Plasma d'Avant-Garde.
A closer look at the diamond-encrusted dial, baguette-cut lab-grown diamonds and yellow diamond shield of the TAG Heuer Carrera Date Plasma d’Avant-Garde.

This year, the Carrera Date Plasma d’Avant-Garde switches out pink diamonds for vivid yellow ones, and the result is no less spectacular. The dials are covered with diamonds using a Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) process. Each dial takes months to complete and requires constant monitoring to ensure that the dial is evenly covered and not too thick. Coloured diamonds are formed when elements that absorb specific wavelengths of light are present during crystallisation or when the tetrahedral lattice structure of diamonds is disrupted using heat or pressure.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Date Plasma d'Avant-Garde in a 36mm white gold case.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Date Plasma d'Avant-Garde in a 36mm white gold case.

In yellow diamonds, nitrogen is the additional element deposited using CVD, which bonds with carbon and absorbs the other wavelengths. The watch has a 1.3-carat yellow diamond cut and shaped into its crown, with an additional 2.9 carats on the dial and 0.5 carats of baguette-cut diamonds set on the white gold indexes. Finally, a 0.1-carat yellow diamond is shaped in the form of the TAG Heuer shield on the dial. The watch is powered by TAG Heuer’s Calibre 7, a reliable time-and-date movement with a date window at 6 o’clock.

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.


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